xxin THE CHURCH OF S. SAVIOUR IN THE CHORA 303
He was, moreover, a friend of Theodore Metochites, and his political supporter in the efforts made to end the strife between Andronicus II. and Andronicus III.1 Upon his death, Tornikes was buried in the parecclesion of the Chora, and the epitaph composed in his honour has kept its place there to this day (Plate XCIL).
In 13423 Sabbas, a monk of the monastery of Vatopedi, who came to Constantinople as a member of a deputation from Mount Athos to reconcile the Regent Anna of Savoy with Cantacuzene, was confined in the Chora on the failure of that mission.2
In view of its proximity to the landward walls, the Chora acquired great importance during the fatal siege of 1453. For the inhabitants of the beleagured capital placed their hope for deliverance more upon the saints they worshipped than upon their own prowess ; the spiritual host enshrined in their churches was deemed mightier than the warriors who manned the towers of the fortifications. The sanctuaries beside the walls constituted the strongest bulwarks from which the £ God protected city' was to be defended, not with earthly, but with heavenly weapons. The eikon of the Theotokos Hodegetria was, therefore, taken to the Chora to guard the post of danger.
It represented the Theotokos as the Leader of God's people in war, and around it gathered memories of wonderful deliverances and glorious triumphs, making it seem the banner of wingless victory. When the Saracens besieged the city the eikon was carried round the fortifications, and the enemy had fled. It led Zimisces in his victorious campaign against the Russians ; it was borne round the fortifications when Branas assailed the capital in the reign of Isaac- Angdus, and the foe disappeared; and when Constantinople was recovered from the Latins, Michael Palaeologus only expressed the general sentiment in placing the eikon on a triumphal car, and causing it to enter the city before him, while he humbly followed on foot as far .as the Studion. But the glory of the days of old had departed, and no sooner did the troops of Sultan
1 Cantacuzene, i. p. 54, 2 Cantacuzene, ii. p. 209.